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State of the Union With John King

News/Business. John King. Interviews and analysis.

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Massachusetts 39, Washington 22, Scott Brown 20, Us 15, Brown 9, Martha Coakley 8, David Gergen 4, Obama 4, Virginia 4, Ted Kennedy 4, Islam 4, Donna Brazile 3, Mitch Mcconnell 3, United States Senate 2, Laptop 2, United States 2, Air America 2, Aleve 2, Bill Bennett 2, Scott 2,
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  CNN    State of the Union With John King    News/Business. John King.  
   Interviews and analysis.  

    January 24, 2010
    11:00 - 12:00pm EST  

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we break it all down with bill bennett and donna brazile, two key pollsters in the massachusetts race and the best political team on television. "state of the union sound of sunday" for january 24th. the white house this sunday says creating jobs will be the big focus of the president's state of the union address later this week. top adviser david axelrod defends last year's big stimulus plan but says it's clear from the big republican upset in the massachusetts senate race that voters there and across the country believe it didn't do enough. >> the recovery act the president passed has created more than or saved more than 2 million jobs but against 7 million that is cold comfort to those who are still looking so we have a big problem and believe me, the president is
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working on that day and night and you'll hear in the state of the union some of his ideas about additional steps that we can take to help create and stir hiring around the country. >> another top white house aide says yes, voters are angry about the economy and partisanship in washington but press secretary robert gibbs says republicans are exaggerating the massachusetts message. >> if republicans want to assume that the outcome of what happened in massachusetts is a big endorsement of their policies when 40% are enthust a enthustastic about them i hope they misread that election as badly as anybody could. >> the republicans say it's the obama white house that doesn't get the message voters are sending. >> what happened in massachusetts is part of an american awakening. we saw it in virginia, new jersey, we see it all over the country in tea parties, in town
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halls, people are alarm and angry about the spending and debt and government takeovers. >> the white house says it's eager to see if republicans are willing to work more with the president but the senate's top republican says the burden lies with the president and his fellow democrats. >> you look at the first year of this administration and we haven't made much progress. we passed a deficit, a budget that doubles the national debt in five years and triples it in ten and tried to pass energy taxes and tried to pass health care taxes. what i hope we'll hear from the president next wednesday night is an indication that he would like to go in a different direction. and as i've said all year, if he wants to immediate us in the middle of the political spectrum, we'll be there to help. >> we've been watching the other sunday shows so maybe you don't have to. joining me in washington, bill bennett and democratic strategist and cnn political contributor donna brazile. welcome. let's start with a simple question and to the party that lost in massachusetts first,
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what is the message? >> john, we lost a very important seat. a very important vote. i don't believe democrats lost the resolve to continue to fight hard for the american people to restore this economy and could keep the country safe and secure and yes to find common sense solutions to work with republicans on helping to reform our health care system. this is not a defeat that should cause democrats to become demoralized or to begin to fail in their pledge to change the country. this is an opportunity. it's a gift. it's an early gift for the democrats. it's a gift. >> losing a seat ted kennedy held for 46 years is a difficulty. >> it's a disappointment. it hurts like hell. i can't tell you how much it hurts. it's a gift if we learn the lessons and get back to basics to deliver to the american people the change we promised them in 2008. >> maybe we can find more under the tree if that's the gift we want to keep on giving.
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look, here's "the washington post." dissatisfaction with direction of the country and government activism and opposition to the democrats health care proposal drove the upset election. there was some other things interestingly in the internal polls. brown stressed a lot his unhappiness with the way the administration was conducting the war on terror, the civilian trials and so on and that got a lot of response. the people of blue on blue massachusetts spoke and it could not have been clearer. >> let's deal with that point. you mentioned senator brown, state senator brown now senator-elect united states senator-elect brown, did stress on terrorism. on election night when he was celebrating, he said to the people of massachusetts and to the whole country watching that he believed his message on that front on how to handle people
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taken into custody suspected of terrorism and he thought the voters of massachusetts were sending a message. >> the message we need to send in dealing with terrorists our tax dollars should pay for weapons to stop them and not lawyers to defend them. >> donna, if you ask anyone involved in this race, we'll have two key pollsters joining us in a few minutes, they say that was part of it the christmas day attempted bombing on that jetliner, martha coakley supported putting him on a track to have him tried in federal court. >> let me say that president obama is following in the same footsteps as george w. bush and trying many of these suspected terrorists in federal court. there's no question that we all would like to see these terrorists brought to justice.
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we want to see al qaeda destroyed and dismantled but we understand our federal courts are acting swiftly to bring these terrorists and these evil -- i can go on and on but i haven't been to church yet so i don't want to get my mouth so dirty that i have to confess later but we want to bring them to justice. i think what happened and pollsters will tell you there's no question that voters are impatient and concerned and deeply worried about the state of our economy but they are also worried about the state of our national politics where they see us in washington, d.c. fight each and every day not finding common sense solution. the president on wednesday night should tell the voters and the country not just in the state of massachusetts that he's ready once again to reach out to the republicans but if they're going to continue to obsruct this agenda and obstruct the change that people voted for, democrats will continue to carry this ball. >> when president obama was in the white house and days after 9/11 when we would hear or
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see osama bin laden on audiotapes it was a hard discussion to have but politically major policy challenge for this country but in early days after 9/11 it benefit benefited president bush because it was a reminder the terrorists were still out there. there was a new videotape saying obama w bin laden was responsible. >> assuming that it is him, his message contains the same hollow justifications for the mass slaughter of innocent we heard before and the irony in the name of islam he killed more muslims than people from any other religion. he's a murderer. we're going to continue to be on the offense against bin laden, against al qaeda to protect the american people. >> in the context one year into this administration bill bennett when we hear the voice of osama
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bin laden which we haven't much of note, how do we think it plays? >> obviously it unites the american people against him. the question is are we doing enough? you had the embarrassment this week. the embarrassment covered up for democrats a serious policy embarrassment in this area. you had three representatives for this administration, dennis blair, mr. lighter and secretary napolitano all on the front lines saying they were not called, they were not informed about this interrogation of the christmas day bomber. the worst thing to come down the pike was the pentagon report on ft. hood on major hasan which in 80 pages never mentions islam, radical islam, call it what you want. this guy has business cards saying soldier of allah when he is shooting people and we cannot mention the word muslim or islam because of political
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correctness. that's what gives people a sense of confidence and that's what senator brown is talking about. >> we'll talk more about the massachusetts race and implications before we get to a break, i want your thoughts on this. this past week air america which was the left leaning talk radio network went off the air and filed for bankruptcy and said it couldn't keep in operations. i want your sense when you travel we have talked on this program about rush or bill or what conservatives are saying on the radio, is this a problem for the left in that the right just dominates. i was in a cab in new york city and the cab driver said he was a democrat and spends 14 hours a day in the car and only people he can listen to are people he disagrees with. does the left have a problem here? >> john, the truth is that this is another loss for americans who like to hear both sides and air america really provided some important coverage over the last couple of years and gave us a lot of great spokespeople and some of them are now on tv and one is in the united states senate. so it's a loss but i do believe
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that liberals and progressives will find other channels and other ways to get their information and of course the internet, that great tool that my ex-boss inspired the creation of will also give us something to shout about in the future. >> your partisan. as a guy that's on the radio and the guy that launched his show the same day as air america six years ago, what did they do wrong? >> very same day. we're now going to 3.75 million. that's at 6:00 in the morning. i don't know. i listen to a lot of liberal talk radio. they're alleg little superior. they don't listen as well as they should. that's my opinion. now we have conservatives that do nothing but talk. i don't know. i would welcome some good liberal talk radio. it has to be engaging and fun. you can't just lecture people. >> when we come back, we'll do listening and joining us will be
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the democratic pollster in massachusetts and for many races across this country for years and also the republican pollster behind the brown campaign with a busy midterm election year. they'll join us for more talk and listening. stay with us.
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we're back with bill bennett and donna brazile. also we have a republican and democratic pollster. they are old friends but important this week because of their role in the massachusetts senate race. i want to get to the message you think the voters of massachusetts were sending the country. if you think they were and you both think the answer to that question is yes. valerie jarrett was out this morning asking will the
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president move to the center and recalibrate and go piece meal on health care. she says this. >> nothing changed about the president's approach. the question to be asked and what we learned from the massachusetts victory is that people are sick and tired of washington not delivering for them and so the question really is will the republican party be willing to come and work with us. >> i read a memo you wrote about the campaign. you think the message goes beyond that, don't you? should the president just sit in the white house and say republicans should work with me or doing something else? >> i think valerie is right. i think scott brown aided with a wonderful pollster, took our message of change. we have to deliver on that change. it's been a year that is twice the patience that american public usually has. we need to pass health care reform. we have to set the tone for change. hopefully we'll have republicans join us but we need to get it
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passed. >> to the point the people of massachusetts especially the independent voters were disgusted with the way washington looks. i voted for obama. he promised to change it. he didn't. what's the burden now? that election is over. republicans feel the wind at their back going into november but between now and then, what is the challenge for republicans? >> set the landscape here. this should not have been a big surprise for the democrats. we saw warning signs as far back as last june that this political environment was changing and changing dramatically. and in virginia and new jersey we won both of those races, republicans did. what's interesting is democrats in those races ran about 12 and 13 points behind where obama ran in 2008. and you look at the data for massachusetts, martha coakley ran 15 points behind. it shouldn't have been a big surprise. everyone is talking about this as the big eye opening game
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changer, that was -- they should have realized that back in september. americans are extraordinarily upset. this is just -- massachusetts is the tip of the iceberg. americans are frustrated. are angry. they see so much money leaving washington and they're not getting any of it. >> i want to continue the conversation but i want to bring in the voice of someone who i think and people doubted this at the beginning of the obama administration has been the most consistent and disciplined politician in washington, this is the senate republican leader mitch mcconnell assessing the president's first year. >> you sum up the first year what this administration has done best is rattle the markets, advocate tax increases, and run you have deficits. that's not a very comforting message to business people looking at trying to expand employment. >> he's not a rhetorical dynamo but mitch mcconnell is discipline in keeping republicans together, has he not. as someone that has to organize, does he get points?
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>> for being an obstructionist, absolutely. for not giving the american peop people. we were recommehemorrhaging 20,s a day when obama came into office. the president inherited an economy on the brink and with the policies that he's put forward, this economy is now moving along. i agree that the president needs to go back to the basics. he needs to go back to the campaigning mode and not campaign itself but he promised the american people change. he promised to bring us together and to heal this country and to move us forward. and what we have seen from the republicans is no agenda, no alternative. you benefited from a political environment that is anti-incumbent. it's bad out there. but i do believe at the end of the day that the republicans need to put up. we need to vet the republican
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policies once they put them forward and they need to be held accountable for those policies. >> you sound like i did the last four years when republicans had miserable years when we were trying to defend george bush's policies and democrats were beating the pants off our guys in race after race after race. it's not politics you're doing wrong. it's policy. >> you can say republicans need to put up. sure. let's go make a deal. let's make a deal on health care. republicans favor health care but not this policy. two things about barack obama. promised to be a transformational presidency. if do you that, you better transform. could he transform? they have the white house -- anyone notice what the advantage is in the house of representatives. 78 people. 19 in the senate. they can't get it done. why can't they get it done? because they're weighted down by the policy. the policy according to the american people. the more they looked at the
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policy, the more they said no. this is not what we want. a government takeover. they want health care reform. they don't want this health care reform. >> they have no idea what's in this health care reform. >> sure they do. >> in massachusetts when we tested the health care reform bill, you're right. it was split. when they looked at the health care reform bill the massachusetts plan itself similar to the national plan, 68% in favor. when we tested specifics of pre-existing conditions and solving medical care and closing the doughnut hole, one of the best attacks against scott brown and best defenses for martha coakley. we need to pass these policies. the critique of the president isn't that he's done too much but the critique of the president is he's done too little. democrats need to pass these policies. >> when the issue came to the floor, the more discussion there was about health care on a national level and more republican was disenchanted. with this provision or any provision. >> we lost a message war. >> this side of the table will leave us in a minute. i want to stay here for a
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minute. these guys will stay with us. you will leave after this. i want to ask you each a question? >> you're getting rid of us? >> to bill first. ronald reagan went through this in his first year in office. his message to the people was stay the course. can president obama use that same course or does he say go to the middle? >> he needs to go to the middle if he wants to have success. if he wants to give more success to my party and conservatives he can hang out on the left corner. when he was elected, i didn't say like some other talk show hosts i hope he fails. i said i hope he succeeds and has moderate and sensible policies. the night of the election on cnn i said he better be careful and not push too far left. look at what's happened. >> he's not been on my corner. he's not been on my corner because he's kept the bush tax
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cuts intact. that's $4 trillion of the deficit. he kept the t.a.r.p. program. he kept the bailout program. he kept two expensive wars. that's not sitting on the left. that's governing with pragmatism. something republicans fail to get is this president kept in place many of those policies. >> do you want him further left? >> that's a false choice. $1.3 trillion of that deficit that -- look, if he governs as a pragmatist and someone that understands reality of what we're facing -- we got two expensive wars. a guy hell bent on killing all of us, bin laden, an and economy on the brink. do we wait for republicans to regain power? >> we disagree on many things here. there's one thing we do agree on. go saints! >> on that bipartisan note, we'll take a quick break. are you a colts fan? >> jets.
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back now joining our panel is dana bash and david gergen. let's break down some of the race in massachusetts. david will join us from boston. he moderated one of the debates. one thing that said helped scott brown was an ad starting with a guy named jack kennedy, a democrat who went on to become a president for massachusetts and ended with a senate candidate scott brown first in black and white and then color. let's peek. >> billions of dollars this bill
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will place in the hands of the consumer will benefit our economy. >> every dollar spent or invested will help create a new job and a new salary. >> the ads against scott brown said he would take you back to bush-cheney. his answer was i never met those guys. if i want to take you back anywhere, it's back to tax cutting policies of a democrat you like. what happened there? >> we had a unique outsider candidate. most republicans in 2010 won't be able to run on that. most of them have met bush-cheney and voted for their policies. >> was it a bad campaign? >> i think nine days out it was really, really important to try -- once the race had been nationalized, it was important to try to draw a distinction between the failed policies of the republicans and the policies that we're trying to bring about change but the point is you can't have that argument articulated from massachusetts. you have to have that argument articulated from washington.
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the most important thing and the opportunity for democrats is in the next five months we have to pass economic policies that deliver more for main street than for wall street. >> if you can't beat a republican in massachusetts times of it bush and cheney, can you beat a republican in colorado or mississippi or tennessee? >> they used the same thing in virginia and new jersey and they're beating a dead horse. it's just not working. if anything what happened in massachusetts was scott was perceived to be the independent candidate and martha coakley was perceived to be in one voter's words, obama's yes person. yes man if she goes to washington. anywhere between 55% and 65% of our voters believe that scott was an independent republican who will vote outside of party pressures in washington. >> i have a question.
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you obviously work with the pollster. there's a memo circulating saying there was no poll done on the massachusetts race from the democrats perspective from mid december to the second week in january so it is the campaign that wasn't focused on important things like figuring out where the electorate is and how to change the message. is that true and if it's true, why? >> we didn't have polling from when we did baseline poll until mid january. it isn't true the campaign wasn't focused but the campaign had no money. there are lots of people that can be blamed for that club national establishment institutions in d.c. that were turning her down. i think that -- >> did they know when they turned her down, did they know that polling wasn't being done? >> they did. >> did anyone go to the white house? the biggest democratic institution in washington right now would be called the president of the united states. did anybody go to his operation and say, you know, we need money
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and we're not getting it? >> yes. people went to the committees and said we need money and we're not getting it. >> what was the answer? >> you don't need it. >> you knew you were running ahead. you knew you were one point up at one point and you were trying to keep it really quiet. >> they did a phenomenal job. we took a look in mid december. we were down by 13 but among voters most interested in the race down by two or four and then we went back in the field and we started daily conference calls on new year's eve every day except new year's day. every single day we need that. on january 4 or 5 that monday or tuesday after people came back to work we did a survey and we were six points down and never came out of the field. we kept track every night. >> let me bring david into the conversation. you were up there at harvard teaching.
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there's been a big debate in washington. was it health care bill or independents who think washington is this poison partisan place or the effective turn on terrorism after christmas day, was it all of the above? >> i think that scott brown really started getting traction in mid december. that jfk ad and another ad riding around in a truck both made him -- the jfk ad was gustsy because it invoked the kennedy memory when running for a seat that ted kennedy occupied and it also showed that he was more of a moderate. i thought it was smart. you could feel that in massachusetts. you didn't have to be a rocket scientist to sense things were moving and tea party activist were gearing up and there was a lot starting to happen and she was vacant. she went on vacation.
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she wasn't there. why isn't she asking for my vote and showing up at tea stations asking for a vote? this thing started moving in december. by early january there was obviously the public felt things were starting to break but by then he had a compelling debate performance. i was impressed with him. fast on his feet. i asked him what seemed like an innocent question and he turned it right back on me and said this isn't the kennedy seat but the people's seat. that was smart. i give him credit for that. after that it was almost impossible to stop him because he clearly had momentum going into the last five or six days. >> i want to bring the conversation back to the room and respond to whatever you want there. i want to add as part of the conversation one of the interesting things if you look at what happened is the poll conducted by peter hart how union households voted. scott brown, 49%, martha coakley
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46%. >> that won't hold up in other states. the reason for that result and scott brown ran a magnificent campaign, we don't have to run again. we don't have to run against scott brown everywhere. we run against republicans in washington whose ratings are worse than ours. it's a different ball game in november. in terms of the union households, we have a health care package that taxes so-called cadillac plans. scott brown communicated that to union members. that provision has to come out of the health care plan or we will lose union members. >> the health care plan should be recalculated based on what helps you in the election. >> people are going to health care reform to get costs down and not see them increase. if workers negotiate lower salaries to get a decent health care plan, they shouldn't be taxed for that. >> we keep debating was this because she didn't run a great race or was this because of barack obama's policies, you have been looking at the numbers. when did your numbers start
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showing that your candidate could win? some folks say it's because of the back room deals on health care. what was it? >> first of all, perfect storm. in terms of the political environment, obama's unpopularity, and the unpopularity of his health care plan. the one turning point in this campaign and david actually was there was the debate. there was 24 hours around the debate which was the debate and then subsequent decision by martha coakley to go ultranegative against scott brown and the monday before -- >> it wasn't washington? >> that was background. this was the turning point in the race that really made the difference. we were behind at that point. two days later we were eight points up. martha coakley was in a position from which she couldn't recover. 56% of voters believe she was running a negative campaign. david gergen has to understand this is -- he does -- this is
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the most political state in the country. beyond the red sox and the patriots, politics is a blood sport here. 48% of voters in the state said they watched the debate. this is unbelievable and they believe scott won it by 56 to 47 percent marginal. >> one lesson for democrats and we saw it in new jersey and virginia, our base is not turning out. angry independents are turning out at higher rates than democrats are. >> we'll talk about looking forward and what this means. stay with us. hing relief... introduces-- drum roll please-- new breathe right extra. the only strip with an extra spring-like band, it's 50% stronger for congested noses that need extra help in opening nasal passages...
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we're back to continue our conversation. gloria borger is here and dana bash is with us.
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david, i want to go to you on this point. what does this mean going forward? democrats aren't coming out and aren't motivated now like they were in '06 and '08. here is how charlie cook put it. david gergen, looking forward. this is january and not november. if the democratic base is demoralized and republicans are energized, how do you change it between now and then if you're president obama? >> that's a very, very big question that the president will face at the state of the union. that's why this is one of the most important state of the unions we've seen in a long time. let's go back to massachusetts. the intensity level was on the side of scott brown. in that debate he turned that
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question of the kennedy seat but he articulated all of the dissatisfaction and anger that people in massachusetts and independents felt in particular and as you know he put the finger on the terrorism issue in ways that really were effective. especially on the question of where people were going to be tried. the democrats if they're going to get -- regain the intensity factor have to address the dissatisfaction and that starts with jobs. it starts with the deficits. you have to get back there. they could pass health care. if they think they'll pass health care with lots of new spending and lots of deficits that are going to scare the heck out of people and the country is opposed to this health care bill and they think that's how to get back on track, they're misreading the message from the country. it has to be jobs and deficits and not a long laundry list of 25 different things that they want to continue fighting for in this next year. they have to focus and get some things that people say he's addressing my needs and he's
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going to change it and he's got to get some things done in washington that change things on the ground where people live. >> let's talk mostly about the challenge in the state of the union but to david's point about terrorism, if i'm a candidate and you're advising me and i'm running for senate somewhere and i say, you know, i'm torn on this one. am i for closing gitmo? do i think the christmas bomber should be tried in the federal courts or in the tougher military system, you would tell me to say what? >> we have done polling on this. we found the public really does not have a lot of knowledge about these issues. what's important here is the tone. be tough with terrorism. there's no particular partisan advantage on terrorism. people think that obama has been tough on terrorism, too. the issue is to be tough. to be resolute and keep the country safe and people aren't second-guessing military courts, federal courts. you have a number of governors that said we think there will be swift justice here and put these people in prison.
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maximum security prisons where no one has escaped. it's toughness more than details. >> i'm going to ask the control room if we have it. scott brown celebrating his election on tuesday night. he had a line about terrorism and if we have it, i want to play it. we don't have it. what he said was i think our tax dollars should be spent on weapons to defeat them not lawyers to defend them. i assume, neil, you have faxed that out all over the country. >> that dove tails with the poll that showed that suspected terrorists should not have the same rights as citizens by a three to one margin. it tested through the roof in our polling for massachusetts. i give a ton of credit for how this campaign was run.
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it didn't just test well. once scott brown said it, it came back in verbatim as what people were saying in daily polling. key difference between martha coakley and scott brown. >> it was part of the senate republicans game plan. i talked to mitch mcconnell around christmas time. what did you accomplish this year as republicans? two things, one we got the public to believe that health care reform isn't working and secondly we turned them around on guantanamo. we turned them around on shoot of whether to close guantanamo and how you should treat prisoners and then the christmas bomber happened or would be bomber occurred. i don't know if your polls showed any difference after he was taken into custody or not. >> it showed a greater intensity. >> the other thing about this issue is when you have experts -- when you cite that powell and gates and petraeus and other experts do not agree with this policy, that turns the public around. the public is not in a
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politician to second-guess details of this policy. >> let me come back to the jobs question. it's the defining issue between now and november. you walk the halls of capitol hill every day and democratic majority is to say the least nervous at the moment. what are they looking for from this president or are they looking for more than one thing and that's part of the problem? left might want something different than the center. >> that's a big part of the problem. we've been talking about this months. be careful what you wish for. they have a large majority and different people want different things. i think if we can to ask you about health care, you mentioned there was a survey that said 59% of people who voted for brown did not cite health care as one of their top issues. just in beat the cover of capitol hill they are all learning the lesson from massachusetts as many of them we have to change the way we're doing health care but it wasn't necessarily the substance of the bill that they're doing. the what lesson should democrats
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take from massachusetts going forward on health care because they certainly are trying to figure it out. >> cannot work on something and not pass it for a whole year when you're in the majority. we need to get it done. we need to get something done that delivers for average people. right now the right and republicans have been far more successful in defining what that health care reform bill is than democrats. you can't make it work. you cannot get people's prices down and you can't get coverage security unless you pass something substantial. >> what do you do? >> you pass something substantial and then you go out and sell it. we have to understand that we have paid a huge price for the president not having a plan out there that we could say look at this plan. google it. if you find abortion, let us know. >> was it a mistake to defer and let congress take so much time. >> whether it was a policy mistake i don't know it was a huge message in politics mistake. >> come on in, david. >> i want to get this straight
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on the polling. "the washington post" has something different out of massachusetts. it said eight in ten brown voters oppose health care plan in massachusetts that among all voters it was opposed 48-43. you can't read those numbers and come away feeling -- health care was the number one issue cited by voters. you can't say massachusetts voters didn't send a message about the health care plan. >> when you ask specifics of the health care plan, making medicare solvent, dealing with doughnut hole, people were against it. >> if the democrats believe that all they need to do now is do a better job of communicating their plans, then they are really looking at a devastating november election. >> very quick time-out. one more quick break.
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we have 20 seconds when we come back for a quick lightning round. [ male announcer ] welcome to the now network, population 49 million. right now 1.2 million people are on sprint mobile broadband. 31 are streaming a sales conference from the road. 154 are tracking shipments on a train. 33 are iming on a ferry. and 1300 are secretly checking email on vacation. that's happening now. america's most dependable 3g network. bringing you the first and only wireless 4g network. right now get a free 3g/4g device for your laptop. sprint. the now network. deaf, hard-of-hearing and people with speech disabilitie.
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back for our lightning round and to david gergen first. the message of the moment. >> to president obama, focus on only a few things. get to the middle and take charge. >> passage change promised and we'll win in november. start with jobs and health care. >> independence changed the way washington is working and i'll
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put a yard sign in my yard for scott brown so other politicians remember that. >> you can't ask for big government when the trust in government right now in this country is lower than it was during watergate. >> if they want things different in washington, and if they walk the halls of congress like i did, the voters will see things were right. it's pretty much the same and if they want to change it, they're going to have to listen to the voters. >> thanks for coming, we should do this again. this is a lot of fun, everybody. the next step is the president's state of the union wednesday, start it right here with us on cnn. at mike's city diner in boston about what we were just talking about. you want to listen to this, you might be surprised. if we don't know how many kids there are,
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how do we know how many classrooms we need? the census helps us know exactly what we need. so everyone can get their fair share of funding. we can't move forward until you mail it back. 2010 census
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basic package. good choice. only meineke lets you choose your service, choose your savings. like an oil change for just $19.95. meineke. if you've shared a sunday with us before, you know i like to find a good diner to fuel up and talk politics. we learned quite a bit being back in my home state of massachusetts this week. to take a closer look at what puts republican scott brown over the top and we'll put that win into context. senator ted kennedy held the seat republican brown just won for nearly 47 years, the last time massachusetts sent a republican to the united states senate was back in 1972. and in 2008, just 14 months ago, president obama, then candidate
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obama carried massachusetts by more than 26 points. so, how did a republican sweep the victory? well, we wanted to see just what happened. scott brown's boost came from independent voters but what was most stunning to me the move among democrats at mike city's diner and breakfast with three democrats and three obama voters whose hunger for change has not been satisfied. anyone at this table vote for scott brown in this election? one, why? >> honestly, i think he's what the people need and i am a democrat and to say i voted republican was, i was like, oh, my god, i'm voting republican. but, honestly, i think i chose the right person for the job. >> how did a republican win in a state that president obama carried by 26 points just 14 months ago? >> well, to me, it's pretty clear that people are disappointed and the change that we were all expected to see with
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a democratic president and democratic-controlled congress and what we see is just more fighting and nothing getting done, seemingly. >> i literally stood over the balt and i was like, almost scott brown, i was almost there. i really was on the fence. >> is there, if the answer is yes, what do you see it being? a national message in this vote. >> i think there's a misconception about massachusetts. i think that the reason why ted kennedy was so successful in this state is that he straddled both parties. he had this unbelievable ability to reach across party lines and get things done. and i think that there are more independents in this state than people realize. >> but to his point about obama made promises on the economy, he made promises on the health care and made promises on a whole list of issues but the fundamental promise is i'll change washington. we'll be postpartisan and get
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along and does it look any different a year later? >> no. >> are people any happier about the economy than they were at the end of 2008 or more agitated and anxious about the economy? >> people are more agitated and anxious and a lot of people's attitudes is what has really changed? really. there's a lot of people who are not working. in the last like six months it has been very, very hard to make money because people just aren't spending like they were. >> so, what should he do now and what should the national democrats do now? should they be defiant and say it's one race, forget about it and keep going with health care and their priorities or should the president take a message and say independent voters wanted a republican in massachusetts and maybe i should move to the midal and focus on the deficit and on jobs and scale back and do a more -- >> maybe they need to reevaluate what is important to people and i think, i think this polarization, which has gotten worse and worse and worse over the years, as much as obama,
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maybe congress needs to step back and say what do the american people really want here? are we serving them? are we simply here to gain power for our own party? that is what it seems to me. when the republicans, you know, i just have to look at which party is worse. i'm not fond of either one. i'm a democrat and now i'll become an independent and i can understand why tea party people are so upset because nobody is being served by either party in washington, i think. >> i mean, i'm a democrat, but i just voted for a republican for senate and i did it because in my heart and in my gut, that told me that i'm doing the right thing. >> the system, in a way, righted itself. i'm not upset, even though i voted for her i'm not upset that she lost because i think that, i think that we need change to me it's an ovus